Ragdolls are known for being cute, cuddly, and dog-like, so what do you do when your cat suddenly turns on you? I’ve got all the answers – and solutions – you need!
Why is my Ragdoll so mean? There are a variety of reasons that can cause your Ragdoll to be mean, including illness, changes in her environment, play aggression, and even history of neglect or abuse. Of course, there are also exceptions; some Ragdolls just aren’t as affectionate as others.
Though usually super social and affectionate cats, Ragdolls can become mean for a variety of reasons. Rest assured, there are ways to combat this, but first, you need to find out why your cat is acting this way.
Why Is My Ragdoll So Mean?
Because Ragdolls are known for their devotion to people, you might be wondering why your cat isn’t acting how you expected. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the “why” behind your kitty’s behavior. The most common reasons include:
- Unaltered (not spayed or neutered)
- Changes in the home
- Play aggression
- History of neglect or abuse
- Mixed breed Ragdoll
Now that you know what would cause a Ragdoll to be mean, it’s time to find out why your cat is so upset. Answer the following questions to see if you can figure out why your kitty is being mean to you:
Is your Ragdoll showing any signs of illness?
You’ll have to look closely and pay attention to see if she’s sneezing, has nasal discharge, a change in litter box habits, refusing to eat, etcetera. These signs might be subtle, but if she’s sick, that would definitely explain her behavior.
Is your cat spayed or neutered?
If your Ragdoll is unaltered, there’s a good chance that she’s being territorial, especially if you have another pet in the house. Even if you aren’t purposefully encroaching on her territory, she may not see it that way.
Has anything in her environment changed?
Any change, such as a new playmate or family member, new litter or food, or even rearranging the living room furniture, can cause your kitty stress.
Though these changes might seem minor to you, they feel like huge changes to your cat, which could explain why she’s being mean.
Is your kitty “mean” while playing, or does she suddenly scratch or bite you?
You might be experiencing the result of play aggression. Sometimes, cats have so much pent up play energy that it comes out in aggressive ways. It’s also possible that she was never taught how to play appropriately, which is a result of improper socialization.
Does your kitty have a history of neglect or abuse?
If you got your Ragdoll through a rescue, there’s a good chance she has been through a lot, such as neglect or abuse. She may have also had multiple owners or foster homes, so she could have grown attached to one caretaker and then been removed from the home.
Any of the above could result in your kitty not trusting people. If you were treated the same way, you would likely not be too happy either.
Is your Ragdoll a purebred?
Because Ragdolls are known for their loving demeanor, it’s very odd when you come across a Ragdoll that doesn’t like people.
If you got your Ragdoll from a rescue or shelter or she didn’t come with paper proving her lineage, it’s possible that she is a mixed breed.
If your cat is not a purebred Ragdoll, there’s a chance that she’s showing behavior traits of the other breed, which would explain her aggression.
No matter why your Ragdoll is acting out, rest assured that these are resolvable issues!
How Do I Make My Ragdoll Nicer?
Once you determine why your kitty is acting out, you can fix the problem.
If you notice your Ragdoll is acting sick…
You’ll definitely want to take her to the vet. If she is acting normal aside from being a little cranky, there’s likely no need to rush her to the emergency vet.
However, if she’s lethargic, dehydrated, refusing to eat, or vomiting, you’ll probably want to visit your nearest veterinarian immediately.
If your Ragdoll is not altered…
Get her spayed or neutered. Some Ragdolls can become aggressive once they hit sexual maturity. Fixing your cat should resolve this issue within a few weeks as it takes a while for the hormones to leave a cat’s body.
If something in the home has changed…
Give it time. Something as small as moving her favorite chair can make your Ragdoll cranky. If your Ragdoll is new to the home or you just introduced her to a new pet or family member, she could just be taking a little longer to adjust.
Give her time to adapt to her new surroundings, and she should return to normal.
If your Ragdoll is showing signs of play aggression…
Play with her! It could be that your kitty needs more playtime to get rid of that extra energy. Make sure you never play using your hands; always use toys like feather teasers or laser pointers.
If you play with her using your hands, she may “attack” them whenever she feels playful. If she’s playing too rough, stop immediately and walk away.
This will show her that she is being too rough and needs to be a little more careful next time you play.
If you need some recommendations on great toys for Ragdoll cats, we have created an article with 15 toys for Ragdolls here!
If your Ragdoll has been neglected or abused or bounced around in foster homes…
Be patient with her. She doesn’t trust people and for a good reason – she feels betrayed. The trick to this is to encourage her to play, feed her treats, pet her gently, and speak to her in a soft voice.
By doing this, you’re associating yourself with things she loves.
Don’t scold her if she lashes out. Fair warning: it will take a bit of time to overcome this issue, but she should come around if you consistently show her you that you are there to love her, not hurt her.
If your Ragdoll is not purebred…
Well, honestly, there’s not a lot you can do about how she’s made. If she’s mixed with a cat that isn’t as affectionate as a Ragdoll and displays some of those undesirable characteristics, you’ll have to determine if you’re okay with that.
Remember, just because she isn’t purebred doesn’t make her any less worthy of your love. Acceptance on your part may be the only resolution in this case.
Of course, there may not be a good reason for your cat’s behavior, and in this situation, the best option is to make sure she knows who’s boss.
If she’s going after you or another family member, make a loud noise or spritz her with water to deter the behavior. Remember never physically to hurt your cat no matter how frustrated you are.
How Do I Know If My Ragdoll Is Happy?
Typically, a happy cat is a nice cat. Once you figure out why your Ragdoll is acting out and are able to fix the issue, her mood should improve. The following are signs that your cat is happy:
- Kneading on you or rubbing against you
- Hearty appetite
- Slow blinking or half-open eyes
- Overall acting friendly
Are Ragdoll cats good pets? Yes! Ragdolls make incredible family pets, especially those with small children and other pets. They can even learn tricks much like a dog. In fact, their personality has earned them the nickname “puppy cat.”
Do Ragdolls shed a lot? Though they have long, thick fur, Ragdolls usually don’t shed very much. If you’re concerned about shedding, you can regularly brush your cat to remove any excess or loose fur. Doing this may also prevent hairballs and matting in your cat’s coat.